[identity profile] pushkin666.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] unmarked_place
Title: Double-Edged
Author: [livejournal.com profile] pushkin666 & ([livejournal.com profile] kat_lair)
Pairing/Characters: Bob/Mikey, Frank/Gerard/Ray
Rating: R
Word count: 4823
Disclaimer: See Community Introduction Post
Warnings/enticements: BDSM, references to knifeplay, see Community Introduction Post for further information
Summary: Mikey had seen Bob like this before – quiet and still – but this, well this seemed to be the wrong type of stillness and Mikey didn't like it. He was getting increasing worried, but didn’t know how to fix things, how to fix Bob. Fuck, he didn’t even know what was broken.

Author notes: Takes place immediately after Whetstone
Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] dreamersdare for an excellent beta as always.

Mikey opened his eyes, disorientated, not sure where he was at first. Then he remembered; he was in Bob's bed. He stretched languidly, enjoying the feel of the cotton sheets against his naked body.

That was an amazing scene they'd done earlier. Mikey had never believed it could be as good as it had turned out to be. Oh, he'd wanted to try it from the first time he'd realised Bob used knives, and especially after seeing Brendon and Patrick do a demonstration at the club. Mikey never expected that he'd react quite the way he had though. It had been an absolute buzz and he had zoned out pretty quickly; the feel of the knives against his skin, the quiet intensity of Bob’s gaze... Mikey had felt completely safe in Bob's hands.

Mmm...Bob's hands. Mikey smiled again just thinking about them. Bob's hands, Bob's mouth and just Bob. There was nothing about Bob that didn't turn him on, but Mikey particularly liked his hands, which could bring pleasure as well as pain. And what Mikey was beginning to learn from Bob was that the line between the two was thinner than he’d thought.

Mikey wondered where Bob was now. Mikey had woken up alone, which was unusual. He pushed himself up, stretching his arms over his head. Subbing for Bob always left him feeling good; made him relaxed and grounded. Safe.

Mikey stood up quickly. Too quickly as it turned out; his head spun for a moment from the blood rush and he rested his hand on the wall until it stopped. It was chilly outside the covers and he pulled on his boxers and one of Bob’s t-shirts.

"Bob!"he called. No response.

Mikey frowned; it was unlike Bob not to be here when Mikey woke up. Bob would normally be sitting or lying on the bed next to him, more often than not just watching him. Some might find it creepy, but not Mikey. He liked Bob watching him, being the focus of his attention, and he liked how it made him feel; special and wanted. He'd had that before in other relationships, but nothing quite like this.

Maybe Bob had fallen asleep on the sofa like he did when he was particularly tired. Mikey headed to the lounge, pausing in the doorway. Bob was there, but not as Mikey had expected. He was sitting on the edge of the sofa, his hands clasped tightly and his gaze fixed on far wall. He looked wrong somehow; tense and stiff rather than relaxed like he should be after a scene. Mikey walked over, automatically dropping to his knees. He placed his left hand over Bob's, feeling the warmth of Bob's skin under his own.

"Bob? Are you alright?" he asked. Bob's eyes were unfocused, but after a minute or so he seemed to come back to himself and see Mikey. He smiled, but it looked completely false and empty, like he was forcing it for Mikey's sake.

"I'm tired, Mikey" Bob said, words slurring slightly. "Just leave me alone, please. Go home." Bob's voice was slow and thick like he was trying to speak through molasses.

Mikey had seen Bob like this before – quiet and still – but this, well this seemed to be the wrong type of stillness and Mikey didn't like it. He was getting increasing worried, but didn’t know how to fix things, how to fix Bob. Fuck, he didn’t even know what was broken.

Mikey closed his eyes, thinking. This was beyond his experience but there had to be someone he could call for help. It needed to be someone on the scene, someone who would understand. Not Gerard though. Mikey cringed at the thought of explaining this to his brother. Ray, he realised. Ray will know what to do.

But Ray was away that weekend, at the cabin with Gerard and Frank. Mikey smiled; he still found it highly amusing that Gerard had bought a log cabin, although apparently it had been Ray's idea. Gerard claimed it was peaceful, although he was the last person Mikey would ever have thought of wanting to commune with nature in any way. That was the sort of thing that Andy, Pete’s business partner would do. Never his brother.

Mikey squeezed Bob's hand and then stood, heading back to the bedroom for his cell phone. This was important enough to warrant interrupting Ray’s weekend.


Gerard stared out over the lake and took another mouthful of coffee. This log cabin might have been Ray's dream, but Gerard had pointed out that if they were going to do this, then there was no way it was happening without a coffee machine, an ice cream maker or indeed a decent sound system. Gerard might enjoy getting away from it all and even liked the peace and quiet of the woods and the lake, but he needed to have the essentials of civilised living. Good coffee was at the top of that list. Well, after Frank and Ray of course, but that pretty much went without saying.

Gerard smiled fondly thinking of his subs. Ray had fitted so seamlessly into their lives, completing their little family. Oh, there had been some initial problems, especially with Frank's low esteem and fear that Gerard was replacing him, even though they’d both agreed they wanted Ray to join them. But it was all good now and any problems between the three of them were just general everyday issues.

That didn't mean of course that Gerard had to include himself in their nature worship! He snorted. He might like this cabin, but there was no way he was going to go on long rambling walks with them, which is what the pair of them were doing at present.

He brushed a buzzing insect of some sort away from his face and lit up a cigarette, tilting his head backward and inhaling deeply, enjoying the rush of nicotine as it hit. The light was beginning to fade and he knew Frank and Ray would be back soon. They wouldn’t stay in the woods in the dark; Frank would probably fall over or walk into something and injure himself. Gerard had never met anybody quite as accident prone as Frank, other than Mikey of course.

His two subs were so different from each other, but they had become good friends. Ray was one of the few people who Gerard would trust Frank with. Frank was precious to him and he was the first permanent sub that Gerard had taken for a long time. The first sub that he'd actually collared.

Frank was everything that Gerard could ask for, although a little bratty at times. Not that Gerard really minded that. Disciplining Frank and keeping him in line was nearly always a pleasure. The only real concern that Gerard still had with Frank was that goddamn false belief that he wasn’t as good as Ray or Gerard because of his job and his lack of college education. Gerard didn't care about that. Frank had been working as soon as he was old enough, had never had the opportunities that some people did. Frank was smart though; certainly smart enough to take his education further if he wanted to.

Gerard was going to offer Frank the chance to do that, to give up his job and go to college. To give Frank the opportunity to do what he wanted; whether that was college or training of some other kind. Frank was fascinated by tattoos so maybe that was something he'd like to learn. Gerard hadn't discussed it with anybody yet. He wanted to speak to Frank first. He would have to be careful how he made the suggestion though. Frank could be very prickly about anything he perceived as charity.

Gerard jumped as the first few wailing lines of Gold Digger cut through the silence. Ray had downloaded the entire Glee soundtrack for Frank and saved some of the songs on his cell as ringtones. Gerard was pretty sure Ray had done it at least partly because he knew how much it would annoy him – you’d never suspect it to look at his guileless smile, but Ray had a twisted sense of humour.

Ray and Frank watched Glee religiously every single week, and they'd made him watch it as well. Gerard actually enjoyed the show although he'd never admit it to either of them. He'd tried pointing out to Frank that not only was it clichéd and stereotypical, but the writing wasn't particularly great either, only to have Frank tell him, 'dancing and singing Gee! Every week, Gee! What more do you need?'

Gerard reached over to pick up the phone from the kitchen table, wondering whether he should answer it or not. Ray didn't have a separate cell for work calls so it could be anyone. He glanced at the display and was surprised to see the name there. Mikey – what the hell? He hoped nothing was wrong.

Gerard flicked the ash from his cigarette and pressed the call button. "Mikey," he said. “What’s happened?”

"Oh..." There was a moment of hesitation and then Mikey spoke again. “Could you put Ray on please, Gee?” He sounded quiet, more subdued than usual and Gerard felt his gut twist with a worried impatience.

"He's not here," Gerard told him sharply. "What do you want? You know we're away this weekend. Mikey – I swear if you're ringing over something stupid I'm going to kill you."

"It's Bob," Mikey blurted out.

Gerard frowned at the phone, wishing he could actually get hold of his brother right now and shake him. Sometimes... "What do you mean it's Bob?” he asked. “Is he sick? Has he hurt himself? What the hell's going on? Also, if this is to do with Bob why are you ringing Ray and not me?"

Mikey sighed. It was clear from his tone that he really didn't want to tell Gerard what was happening, his voice stilted and hesitant

"I wanted to speak to Ray because he's... well, because he's a switch." And just how weird was it to hear the terminology coming from Mikey. "I didn't want to talk to you about this," Mikey continued. "I wanted somebody who'd subbed and Ray was my best option."

Gerard gripped the phone. This didn't sound like it was going to be good. “Tell me,” he said. It came out as a command.

Mikey did. "Bob – well, we did a scene. I fell asleep afterwards and when I woke up he was all... weird."

Weird. Well, that narrowed it down. Gerard took a long slow breath in an effort to keep his temper at bay. He didn't really want to hear this, didn’t want to think about Mikey scening with Bob, or with anybody for that matter. Bob was Gerard’s friend and one of the best Doms he knew, but Gerard thought Bob needed someone who understood the scene, someone stable. And as much as Gerard loved his little brother, he wasn’t blind to his faults either and he just didn’t think that Mikey was necessarily the right person for the role.

Now something had gone wrong with a scene and that was just enough to confirm Gerard’s doubts.

"Okay," he said, "Tell me exactly how Bob is, what he's doing or not doing. Tell me vaguely about what the scene was. Not too many details please – keep it to a bare minimum."

Mikey muttered something at him down the phone. Gerard wasn't sure whether he was swearing at Gerard or starting to explain what had happened. "What? Speak more clearly. Don’t mutter."

"Knives." Mikey was clearer now. "He used knives."

Gerard's heart sank and he closed his eyes for a moment. Knives. Of all the things... He knew exactly what that meant. Knives were Bob's big kink and using them could affect him quite deeply. Bob loved his knives, you only had to see him using them to realise that. It was always a treat to watch someone that skilled.

Gerard was really surprised though that Bob had agreed to that type of scene with Mikey. Surprised and also a little pissed, at Mikey as well as Bob. He knew full well that Mikey must have pressured Bob into it, but didn't think Bob should have agreed. Mikey was inexperienced and Gerard didn't think they'd given themselves enough time for the trust to build for something like that. And yet, all signs pointed to Bob considering Mikey for the long term, as a potential sub. Gerard wasn't too sure how he felt about that.

“Right,” he said, voice flat. “What is he like? Is he talking to you?”

An intense scene, especially something that required as much care and control as knifeplay, could leave the Dom more wrung out than the sub. He doubted Mikey had spared much thought on how this would affect Bob, too focussed on what he was getting out of it. Mikey could be pretty selfish at times.

"He's just sitting there," Mikey said. “He told me to leave, but... I don’t think I should. I don’t want to.”

Well, that was something. Still, Gerard wished he could knock their heads together for being idiots. "So," he said. "You did a big scene, and yeah I get that you were probably out of it, but did you think, for one moment, to ask Bob to stay with you afterwards?” He’d never expected to explain a d/s relationship to his brother. Didn’t particularly want to either, but someone had to. It was quite clear that Bob hadn't, not fully.

Gerard took a drag of his cigarette and blew the smoke out through his nose before continuing: "This isn't just about you getting off, you know. It's about Bob too. It's meant to be a partnership, Mikey!” He could hear his voice beginning to rise, but he just couldn’t help it. He was so angry at the pair of them. “You should be taking care of Bob as well. It's not just about him taking care of you. If you want this relationship to go anywhere, you need to learn that and learn it fast. Being a sub doesn’t mean you just sit back and let Bob make all of the decisions for you. You have to take responsibility as well. Bob doesn’t want a slave you know, he wants a partner who can think for himself. A sub that will make him proud.”

Mikey's breath was coming fast down the phone now and Gerard could tell he was getting angry as well, but he didn’t care. These things needed to be said. "Okay, listen. Here’s what you need to do: Keep touching him, keep him warm and make sure he’s comfortable. See to it that he eats at some point. That should be enough.” He made an effort to gentle his voice. “It's not rocket science, Mikey, but you need to do it."

"Spare me the lecture, please,” Mikey snapped. “Everybody has to start somewhere. None of us sprang from the womb a perfect sub or whatever. Don't forget you had mentoring and then you were married to Lindsay. All I wanted to know was how to help Bob. I don't like seeing him like this.” Mikey’s voice was quieter now, more hesitant, and for a moment Gerard felt guilty, not about his words but how he'd delivered them.

Mikey was right of course; now wasn't the right time for this conversation. But they would have it, that Gerard was going to insist on.

"Alright," he said. "If you really want to do this, if you really want to be his sub and aren’t just playing at it because you think it's what Bob wants, then behave like one. Go take care of your Dom. And when I get back you and I are going to talk more.”

“Fine, okay, whatever. Look, I’m just going to go and check on Bob now. I’ll talk to you later. And...”


“Thanks, Gee.” With that Mikey hung up.


Mikey put the phone down with something akin to relief. Even though he really hadn’t wanted to speak to Gerard the conversation had helped. Even though the only reason he’d gotten off lightly with his brother was because Gerard was concerned about Bob. The conversation wasn’t over – simply delayed. Gerard would want to speak about this further when he got back. One of the disadvantages of Bob renting the second wing of Gerard's house was that Gerard knew where to find Mikey. He figured it wasn’t going to be a pleasant conversation. Gerard would be talking to him as brother but also as a Dom, and Mikey was not looking forward to it.

Gerard was right though; Mikey had been a little selfish and hadn’t thought much about Bob's reactions beyond getting him off. Bob hadn't even wanted to do the scene, saying it was too early, but Mikey had pushed and pushed until Bob had relented albeit with restrictions.

Mikey saw how Gerard was with Frank and Ray, how they all just worked and he envied that. At first he’d thought it would be Bob calling all of the shots, but it wasn't like that at all. Bob liked to discuss things, liked to know how Mikey was feeling, which was something Mikey had found difficult to get used to.

It was time to change things though. If he wanted this to work – and Mikey really, really did – he needed to start thinking about Bob as well as himself, to become more than just a play partner. Bob could get one of those whenever he wanted; the man owned a bdsm club after all, he was never short of willing partners. And yet he had chosen Mikey – though it had taken some persistent convincing on Mikey’s part.

Mikey walked quietly through to the kitchen. One of the things that Bob particularly liked was hot chocolate and Mikey didn't think that coffee would be a good idea right now. He measured out two mugs of milk and put them in the microwave to heat up. In the meanwhile he fetched Bob's fleece wrap and took it into the lounge, where Bob was lying on the couch staring at the ceiling. His gaze flickered over to Mikey.

"Hey," Mikey said. "You need to keep warm." He placed the throw over Bob and touched his hair. It was unsettling to see Bob like this; so still and quiet when normally he radiated energy and strength. "I'll be back in a minute," Mikey told him. "I'm just going to make you a drink."

Bob said nothing, but Mikey could feel his eyes following him as he left the room. He finished making the hot chocolate, adding cold milk to make sure it wasn't too hot and leaving out their usual brandy and marshmallows. Going back Mikey placed the drinks on the table by the couch and knelt on the floor. He held the mug steady for Bob to drink from. Bob sat up to take a couple of mouthfuls and then laid his head back on the sofa arm, closing his eyes. Mikey curled up next to the couch and rested his head on Bob's thigh, placing his arm over Bob. It didn't take long for Bob to fall asleep.


Bob opened his eyes slowly; gritty from sleep and squinted in the low light of the room. There was a weight lying across his thighs, preventing easy movement. Looking down he realised it was Mikey; his arm and head resting on Bob's leg. Mikey was asleep and Bob carded his fingers through Mikey's hair. It felt good and he rested for a moment, watching his sub quietly. He was still out of it a little, but nothing like he'd been straight after the scene. Bob grimaced in dismay; he should have known how he'd react. It was stupid of him not to have anticipated it.

Bob took in the fleece throw covering him and the mug of hot chocolate on the table – regrettably cold now, though he could always warm it up later. This was... surprising. Normally, Mikey would have either left by now or be still sleeping off the after effects of the scene. Bob wondered what had prompted this change in behaviour. It was pleasant though and Bob let himself enjoy the sense of peace a while longer.

Unfortunately, nature was calling and he needed to get up. He tugged softly on Mikey's hair, finally rousing him to shift enough for Bob to push up from the sofa and make a hasty retreat to the bathroom.

When he got back Mikey was blinking owlishly at the room at large, before standing and stretching. He was wearing a t-shirt several sized too big and with a jolt of fierce joy and possessiveness Bob recognised it as one of his.

Mikey smiled, still fuzzy from sleep, and came over to drop a quick kiss on the corner of Bob’s mouth. He pulled back before Bob could get arms around him though. "I'm going to make some food," Mikey said. "You go sit back down."

Bob blinked. This new take-charge Mikey was a different beast from normal. "Okay," he said. "That's good, food is good. Just... don't use the toaster."

Mikey scowled at him. "One time! One measly little toaster related incident and people never let me hear the end of it."

Bob grinned; Mikey was cute when he was huffy. There were times when Mikey sounded just like Gerard, although both of the Way brothers would deny it. Mikey tossed his head and walked out of the room, heading to the kitchen. Bob settled back on the sofa, leaning against the cushions and stretching his feet out in front of him. He could hear Mikey rattling around in the kitchen and muttering, probably about the toaster and mean Doms.

It didn't take long for Mikey to return, carrying a plate of sandwiches and a bottle of water. He put them down and sat down on the floor next to Bob. They ate in comfortable silence.

After a while Bob glanced at the clock. It was getting quite late and he expected Mikey to be leaving soon. Much as he wished he could automatically assume Mikey was going to stay Bob knew he had to ask.

"Hey," he said. Mikey looked up at him. "Don't you have to get home? I thought you had that project you were working on."

Mikey shrugged. "Yeah I do, but the deadline is a couple of weeks away. Besides, I'd rather be here. With you." His smile was a little shy and Bob couldn't help but enjoy the surge of pleasure at the words.

It was good to have Mikey here, within sight and reach. If it were up to Bob he would keep Mikey with him all the time. Bob grabbed the remote control and flicked the TV on, turning it to one of their favourite crime dramas that he'd recorded earlier in the week. He ruffled Mikey's hair and took another sandwich. He was never really sure whether Mikey liked the show for its storylines or whether it was simply because Mikey kept putting his own slant on the character's love lives, insisting that two of the male leads were definitely an item. Bob thought the idea was crazy, but it was always entertaining listening to Mikey's reasoning.

They spent the evening quietly, channel surfing and snacking on various treats Mikey rummaged from Bob’s cupboards. Mikey made no move to leave, not even when Bob finally turned the TV off after midnight. Instead he followed Bob to the bedroom, stripping naked without a word and curling next to him with a contented sigh, their limbs tangled. Mikey had not stopped touching Bob all night, almost as if he was trying to anchor himself, or to anchor Bob. It was unexpected to say the least.

Unexpected, but good. Bob pulled Mikey closer, wrapping arms around him tightly. Mine, he thought, closing his eyes. Mine.


Ray clomped into the house, boots dragging mud at every step. He was feeling relaxed after the hike, muscles aching in that pleasant way that came from physical labour. Or really good sex.

Ray grinned at the thought. Frank had headed straight for the shower, but Ray wanted to go check on Gerard first, to let him know they’d made it back. It had been good to spend some time with Frank and Ray knew that at least part of the reason Gerard had refused to come along was because he’d wanted to give them an opportunity to do just that. He probably thought Ray and Frank had needed to bitch about their Dom in private, when in reality they had spent most of the walk in companionable silence; the scenery impressive enough to quiet even Frank.

When he didn’t find Gerard in the lounge, Ray made the logical leap and headed to the kitchen. It hadn’t taken him long to learn that in case of a missing Dom, the best place to look was the nearest coffee maker.

As expected, Gerard was in the kitchen, though not relaxing with a hot drink and a book as Ray had hoped. Instead, he seemed agitated, gripping Ray’s cell phone and glaring at it like it had insulted his taste in comics.

"Hey, careful with that!” Ray gently prised his brand new iPhone out Gerard’s hand, nudging him to sit down at the table.

“What's wrong?" Ray was already scrolling the recent calls list on the phone and felt a sharp tug of worry when he whose name was on top. “Shit, did something happen to—?

“No, no,” Gerard shook his head. “It’s Bob.”

“Dead? Sick? In jail?”

Gerard cracked a smile at the last option and Ray breathed a sigh of relief; nothing too serious then. “Okay, so stop trying to incinerate my poor defenceless yet totally cool phone with your brain and tell me what happened.”

Gerard did. At some length.

Ray let Gerard talk himself out. At some point he noticed Frank coming to hover in the doorway, looking uncertain. Ray gestured at him to come inside but to keep quiet and nodded in approval when Frank silently slid to sit on the floor next to them; unobtrusive but present.

"I knew it was a bad idea for Mikey to get involved with Bob,” Gerard was saying. “He'll mess things up, doesn't know what he's doing. I'm going to talk to them when I get back."

Ray exchanged a knowing look with Frank. Mikey was Gerard’s blind spot; his protective instincts overruling common sense on occasion. "Look, Gerard,” Ray said, touching his hand for attention. “I get that Bob is your friend and Mikey is your brother, but it's their relationship. You can't tell them what to do and what not to do, or they'll both end up resenting you. Let me talk to Mikey. It was me he called after all. Maybe he wants to speak to another sub and a friend, not his disapproving big brother. Or," he added with a rueful smile, “a disapproving Dom.”

Gerard stared at him intently for a few long seconds and Ray had to work hard at not squirming. He was right about this and it would have been a disservice to hold his tongue.

Finally, Gerard dropped his gaze and slumped in defeat. “Fine, okay. I’m just... I’m worried, okay?”

Ray reached over to rub Gerard’s shoulder soothingly. “I know you are, Gee. I’ll talk to Mikey. And so will you, just... maybe after you’ve calmed down a bit?”

Gerard didn’t look too happy about it, but he nodded and Ray knew he’d taken his advice and would wait and think before talking to either Bob or Mikey. He gave Gerard’s shoulder a one last squeeze and got up to prepare dinner, figuring they could all use some food before the night was over.

Gerard was still wound up and Ray had a pretty good idea about how the rest of the evening would go. So did Frank, judging by the way he’d shifted to a kneeling position, hands already behind his back without been told.

Ray opened the fridge and started pulling out ingredients for sandwiches, watching from the corner of his eye as Gerard ran a hand through Frank’s shower-damp hair. A choked-off moan drew Ray’s attention away from the chopping board. Over by the table, Frank’s head was tipped right back, Gerard’s fingers clearly having found a tangle. Frank was whining, the exposed line of his neck encouraging Gerard to pull harder, to take what was offered.

Ray felt the answering tightness in his own chest, his eyes snapping up to Gerard’s, sharp and fully focussed now. Slowly, Ray put down the knife and lowered himself to his knees.

Dinner could wait.
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